Microsoft Surface: A Look at the First Windows 8 Tablet

The software giant announced two new tablets: One will run the full version of Windows 8, the other will run Windows RT.

Microsoft Surface 2.0

Microsoft showed off Surface (the tablet, not the table) on Monday to a small audience in Los Angeles. This new tablet is intended to change the way people think about interacting with their PCs, and will serve as a prototype for future Windows 8 tablets, according to Microsoft. Here's a tour of some of Surface's more interesting features.

Full-Sized Ports

The Pro version of Surface will feature a USB 3.0 port, as well as a microSDXC card slot, and a Mini Display port. The RT version of the tablet will also feature a full-sized USB port; however, you'll be limited to 2.0 speeds.

Built-In Kickstand

After a long day at work, what's better than relaxing with a movie? Surface's built-in kickstand will allow you to prop the tablet up so that you have an optimal angle for viewing movies and other content on its 10.6-inch display.

Windows 8 Made Portable

Surface is a full-fledged PC, according to Microsoft. The Pro version will be able to run standard Windows applications (like Photoshop and Office), and its Metro interface is designed for touch navigation. The RT version will also function like a full PC, but it will run apps designed to run on ARM architecture.

Personalize for Productivity

Move over, Smart Cover; an even more intelligent tablet case is on the block now. Microsoft's Type Cover snaps onto Surface and has a built-in multitouch keyboard and track pad. The cover is incredibly thin and, when snapped onto Surface, gives the tablet the appearance of a book. Microsoft says you'll be able to pick up a Type Cover in a variety of bright colors, though we have yet to hear how much they will cost.

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